The upcoming date of 12-21-12 has produced many Mayan Apocalypse myths about predicting how the world might potentially come to an end. Many of this myths are of a scientific nature and thus can be analyzed for their veracity. While archaeologists will probably be partying on 188.8.131.52.0, other scientists have been busy debunking the top doomsday predictions.
According to the Huffington Post, “Mayan apocalypse rumors have proliferated on the Internet, running the gamut from beliefs that Dec. 21 will bring a new era of peace and universal understanding to predictions of a devastating astronomical event.” But most Mayan Apocalypse myths are not so peaceful, with some natural event being the portended trigger of the end of the world.
6. The Planets Will Align, Signaling Our Doom – One Mayan Apocalypse myth is that the planets of our solar system will align on December 21, 2012. This will somehow harm the Earth. NASA says there’s no planetary alignments expected for decades, and even then the alignments in recent history — 1962, 1982, and 2000 — have not harmed us.
5. Sun Kills Us All Through Solar Storms – Our sun actually goes through 11 year cycles where the most violent reactions would occur right about now. The 1859 Carrington Event is an example of a perfect solar superstorm, which you can read about on History Channel. The electromagnetic storm caused telegraph lines to burst into flames, primitive “electronics” to operate without batteries, the earth to literally “boil” in some spots, and the northern lights could be seen far down south. Some locals really thought the end was nigh.
Scientists were actually rightfully worried that our current solar cycle might trigger an electronics collapse of anything not electromagnetically shielded, especially the electric grid — which we all depend on nowadays — and some of the aging satellite systems that do not have military grade hardware protection. Can you imagine all electronics either fizzling out or bursting into flame? But this solar cycle has so far been remarkably calm.
4. The Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flip And Leave Us Unprotected – According to NASA, the Earth occasionally flips it’s magnetic poles. You know, the natural effect that produces the north and south and allows compasses to work. Birds also have a built-in mechanism that allows them to use the magnetic poles to navigate accurately during migration seasons.
The magnetic field is actually fluctuating on a regular basis, with the north pole moving faster now. Scientists “estimate the pole is migrating northward about 40 miles per year, as opposed to about 10 miles per year in the early 20th century.”
NASA does not believe that these magnetic pole reversals have ever caused worldwide disaster, but there is potential for a danger. Earth’s magnetic field, or magnetosphere, actually provides vital protection from dangerous solar activity and holds our atmosphere in place. While such a magnetic flip-flop can occur relatively quickly, and there is much debate over the timing of these events, the Mayan Apocalypse myth holds that a total or partial collapse of the magnetosphere will coincide with a solar storm peppering the Earth with dangerous radiation.
3. Planet X, Or Nibiru, Will Collide With Earth – Planet X rumors got their start in 1976 when Zecharia Sitchin claimed to have translated a Sumerian text to rediscover the lost planet Nibiru, which allegedly orbits the sun once every 3,600 years. The Sumerians were an advanced culture, which invented writing, math, agriculture, medicine, courts, law, judges, schools, and even astrology and astronomy. All of this, they claim, was taught to them by “living gods” they called the Anunnaki who lived on planet Nibiru.
The Sumerians believed there were 12 “planets,” but this estimate includes the standard nine, the moon, the sun, and 12th planet they called Nibiru. It’s possible that the Sumerians did not see a planet but instead were tracking what modern astronomers call Nemesis, a red dwarf that is purportedly orbiting a third of a light-year from our sun.
In 2003, self-described psychic Nancy Lieder warned that Planet X, or Nibiru, would collide with Earth. When that didn’t happen, the doomsday date got pushed back to 12-21-2012 to coincide with Mayan apocalypse myths. While NASA has never detected Planet X, it’s possible that the gravitational influence of Nemesis may fling some deadly comets our way.
2. Total Earth Blackout – This Mayan Apocalypse myth is based upon some facts, but none of them portend destruction. According to Financial Express, the total Earth blackout is supposed to be caused by a galactic-scale alignment between galactic objects and our own sun. Our solar system is actually orbiting other objects in the galaxy, with some scientists hypothesizing a super-sized blackhole as the gravitational center of the Milky Way galaxy. NASA’s Francis Reddy explains where the blackout myth found its origin:
“Thick dust clouds block our night-time view of the Milky Way, creating what is sometimes called the Dark Rift. The fact that — from the viewpoint of Earth — the sun aligns with these clouds, or the galactic center, near the winter solstice is no cause for concern.”
The doomsday myth points to the coincidence of the winter solstice coinciding with the sun entering the Dark Rift. The idea is that the Earth will become aligned closer with the black hole in the galactic center, allowing some kind of massive gravitational pull which will tear the Earth apart. This myth is easy to debunk. Our solar system happens to enter the Dark Rift every year, and, to top it off, we’re closer to the galactic center during the summer, not during the winter … or on 12-21-12 for that matter.
1. The Mayan Long Calendar Predicts Doomsday – The top myth is actually the Mayan Apocalypse myth itself. It’s not a even a prediction of the end of the world. At most, the myth causing so much consternation among 10 percent of the globe is a mistranslation of the archaeological Mayan inscriptions. The writings were on a shrine dedicated to the appearance of a Maya deity, Bolon Yokte’ K’uh, on the date 184.108.40.206.0 in the Mayan long count calendar. The coming date was also part of a 13th cycle, which is a sacred number to the Mayans, and the Mayans were likely expecting something good to happen on 12-21-2012.